I am an old and toothless teacher, and I often dream of Mars. Escaping this treacherous Earth has been a longtime personal goal. Call me Prometheus. I, too, have labored to give the light of learning to the human race, here, in this wicked gambling culture of Vegas, with little appreciation from the powerful gaming gods ruling us. I speak, of course, of the rock to which teachers have been brutally chained — the ongoing low wages and disrespect accorded to local educators.
After a recent opportunity arose to become an astronaut for the Mars One space program, which promises one-way tickets to Mars in 2022, I inquired online about becoming an applicant. When I entered my “vital statistics” on an application, it soon became evident they weren’t “vital” enough. My goal, though, really wasn’t to live on Mars as a colonist for years, but rather to die quickly and become the first obituary in Mars’ daily e-newspaper, The Martian Chronicle. Wouldn’t it be great to be the first human buried on another planet, your body’s organic material perhaps fertilizing Mars’ first tree?
But I don’t qualify. So, what to do? Well, CityLife’s annual “Get Out Of Town” issue, which instructs area scoundrels to leave Vegas quickly, has inspired me. I’ve thought of something similar for those who have mucked up public education so badly here that they need to GET THE FUCK OFF THE PLANET FOREVER! Hence, let’s nominate the following for one-way tickets to Mars:
Steve and Elaine Wynn: Steve, to avoid paying his fair share in taxes for education, reportedly brokered a “room tax” deal in 2009 (on tourists’ backs) that promised about $125 million annually to teachers — money they, mysteriously, have never received. And his strident former wife, Elaine, now president of the State Board of Education, has bad-mouthed public ed for the past decade while promoting the bizarre education reform movement. Strangely, her reforms have dominated education during this decade, yet schools have reportedly gotten much worse. Sure, ignorant Elaine and fork-tongued Steve running the angry red planet. Oh, hell yeah!
The Clark County Education Association: This is the teachers’ union that brokers bad deals with casino owners for its members. In the past 14 years, teachers have received about 17 percent in cost-of-living increases, as local police and firefighters received the average national cost-of-living increase of roughly 45 percent in that time. Obviously, if the teachers’ union goes to Mars, there’ll be only slave labor up there.
The Nevada Democratic Party: Proving themselves the Judas Iscariots of state politics, Democrats have consistently sold teachers down the river in the state Legislature since 1999. If Nevada’s Democrats were sent to Mars, there still would be no intelligent life there.
Sig Rogich and Billy Vassiliadis: These two “communication strategists” behind the no-new-taxes mantra in Nevada — to protect casino owners’ greed while gutting education funding — are seemingly already thuggish, bug-eyed monsters from outer space.
Barack Obama: He loves Michelle Rhee, the Teach For America scam and his failed Race to the Top reforms. Thus, regarding education, he’s totally fuckin’ stupid and needs to go — to Mars forever.
So, let’s give our nominees a one-way send-off. And someday, maybe, their remains will fertilize some ferns on Mars. Oh, hell yeah!
CHIP MOSHER is a simple classroom teacher.